My mother is not a model. She is not perfect. That awareness is part of learning to love someone. Predicting the actions of someone is an act of love. We persist, even when we get it wrong. That's the beauty of love.
Six is the hardest number for me to experience, the smallest. It's the absence of something - it's cold, dark, almost like a black hole. If someone tells me they are depressed, I might imagine myself in the hole of a six to help me empathise.
How any person decides to emphasize strengths and mitigate weaknesses is something people have to figure out for themselves. I'm wary of the self-help literature that suggests there are certain rules. I'm very happy for people to look at my story and say it's possible to achieve many things.
There are always things I find difficult - being in crowds, remembering faces. I do like routines. I always travel with someone. My life in Avignon is a very quiet one. I have an apartment that looks over the whole city. I can drop into town, but a lot of the time I write from home. In some respects I still live a very quiet, simple life.
I know from my own experience that there is much more to 'intelligence' than an IQ number. In fact, I hesitate to believe that any system could really reflect the complexity and uniqueness of one person's mind, or meaningfully describe the nature of his or her potential.
Aesthetics - rather than reason - shapes our thought processes. First comes aesthetics, then logic. 'Thinking in Numbers' is not about an attempt to impress the reader but to include the reader, draw the reader in, by explaining my experiences - the beauty I feel in a prime number, for example.
Every culture has contributed to maths just as it has contributed to literature. It's a universal language; numbers belong to everyone.
Growing up, I would have to watch the other children and learn from my mistakes. I would have to push myself to overcome the things most people don't have to think about. Brushing my teeth was very difficult because of the noise of the brush.
I recited Pi to 22,514 decimal points in five hours and nine minutes. I was able to do this because of weeks of study, aided by the unusual synaesthesic way my mind perceives numbers as complex multidimensional coloured and textured shapes.
There is no such thing as an average person. They really are guidelines for people to grapple with the unknown, and we can always surprise expectations.
Often autism is portrayed in the media as a very negative condition, as something that prevents somebody from communicating or from socializing or from being able to have any kind of normal, happy life.
I consider social skills a bit like learning a language. I've been practising it for so long over so many years I've almost lost my accent.
Logic obviously is important. You need to be able to figure things out, to go to the end of a particular problem. But intuition is very important because it references things that logic alone cannot.
I have never played the lottery in my life and never will. Voltaire described lotteries as a tax on stupidity. More specifically, I think, on innumeracy.
I feel traveling certainly does broaden the mind. In my case certainly I feel more confident. It gives you a new perspective on the world.
Even the greatest mathematicians, the ones that we would put into our mythology of great mathematicians, had to do a great deal of leg work in order to get to the solution in the end.
Life is going to be complex, and the only way we're able navigate our way through it at all is by living as best we can and absorbing those experiences and somehow making intuitive responses in future situations that resemble them in some way.
When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. The image starts to change and evolve, and a third shape emerges. That's the answer. It's mental imagery. It's like maths without having to think.
Of course creativity is a mystery. We don't know what drives it or what constitutes it. It's one of those things, like genius, you know it when you see it but it's impossible to define.
The way that I approached numbers, think about them, the same as for language as well-acquiring vocabulary, understanding the grammar, the structures of languages, the rhythm, the music and so-on - these things obviously evolved.